1860. Italy is divided in 8 states. But after 60 years of heroic wars, frontiers’ll soon fall, thanks to Giuseppe Garibaldi & the legendary volunteers who fought with him, known as the thousand.
The unification of Italy from Messina to Volturno, the past made flesh by Roberto Rossellini in a commemorative mood. Il Tricolore sways splendidly under the credits and then over a map of fragmented states circa 1860, a orchestral preamble concluding with a skirmish against an electric cobalt sky. Garibaldi (Renzo Ricci) is middle-aged, ginger-bearded, rheumatic, and utterly, serenely determined; before battle, he squats by the meadow to savor some local bread: “Anyone have any salt?” As the Redshirts charge uphill, the camera takes a paradoxically distant and urgent view of the clashing brigades and puffs of gunsmoke dotting the landscape — a study in long shots, a cosmic vantage. Read More »